Belfast Telegraph

£300,000 investment for Lisburn: shops revamp and extra promotion in bid to boost trade

By Caire McNeilly

A £300,000 investment to breathe new life into one of the cities hardest hit by Northern Ireland's economic crash has been announced.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland yesterday unveiled the details of a funding package in a bid to turn Lisburn's fortunes around.

The aim of the project is to support existing traders and revitalise a city where the retail sector was hit particularly hard after the downturn in 2008.

The funding will also be used to help promote the city as a destination for shoppers, as well as to improve the attractiveness of the shop frontages.

Mr McCausland said the money will go towards free city centre Wi-Fi, a shopfront improvement scheme and festivals, among other things.

"This investment of £300,000 will complement the public realm scheme which is currently well under way and due to complete in the spring of 2015," Mr McCausland said.

"This funding will provide opportunities for businesses through a Business Development Programme as well as physical improvements in the form of a shopfront improvement scheme."

The project will be delivered by Lisburn City Council in conjunction with traders and local representatives, and aims to make a real impact on the lives of those who live, work, shop or visit the areas.

The minister added: "The planned Easter Festival, on-street animation, food and music festival aim to build on the past successes delivered in the city." Councillor Allan Ewart, chairman of the council's economic development committee, added: "Everyone can really see the public realm scheme starting to take shape now and share the positive vision of the benefits this investment will bring to Lisburn.

"The council, in partnership with Lisburn City Centre Management, look forward to delivering the events and initiatives included in the revitalisation programme for the benefit of city centre businesses and the local community to ensure footfall continues to increase and the area is vibrant and prosperous into the future."

The scheme was approved in November 2013 with initial funding of £50,000 for the 2013/1214 financial year and additional funding of £250,000 approved for the 2014/2015 financial year.

Belfast Telegraph